Friday 16 May 2014

Review ~ The Envoy by Edward Wilson.

Title: The Envoy.
Author: Edward Wilson.
Genre: Espionage.
Release Date: April 1, 2008.
Source: Bought.
Rating: 4 out of 5 stars.

Purchase: Amazon UK | Amazon

The setting is 1950 in London at the height of the Cold War and Kit Fournier is ostensibly a senior diplomat at the U.S. embassy in Grosvenor Square, but he is actually CIA bureau chief in London--a spy operating under diplomatic cover.

He plies his cynical trade on the spy-infested streets where suspicion turns enemies into friends and friends into enemies.

This bleak but familiar literary landscape hosts a volatile cast from MI6, KGB, CIA, and top-secret nuclear researchers who play at espionage and treason by day and dangerous, sometimes fatal, sexual games by night.

With The Envoy, Edward Wilson has cleverly written a complex, engaging spy novel and credit to him that he could make someone like me follow, understand and enjoy the whole book because I’ve struggled getting to grips with so many spy novels! The plot was intelligent and interesting – grim but not difficult to read, with great characterisation.

The characters really were excellently written in The Envoy. Of course, being a spy novel, trust, loyalty and betrayal are strong themes. The suspense is built on this premise amongst others and kept my attention throughout, expecting the next twist and yet being caught off-guard when it comes.

Kit Fournier was the most intriguing character – his lifestyle and his choices don’t make him a typical, likeable guy but as the book goes on, and you see how he is affected, I found myself liking him more and more. His characterisation was fantastic, as were the other characters encountered in this novel.

I’m not that aware of politics and obviously The Envoy did have a political edge to it. Mostly this didn’t affect how much I enjoyed the novel although there were a couple of times it went over my head a little. Still, this book was at its best throughout its focus on a spy’s lifestyle – with its lies, deception and great action. A compelling plot with one of the best endings I’ve read made The Envoy end on a brilliant note and me eager to continue with Wilson’s other espionage novels.

Review also posted on Goodreads | Amazon UK | Amazon

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